While she was mostly a background character in the previous MCU films that she appeared in, Shuri has stepped up in Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as the movie was in dire need of a new face that could carry the franchise into the future. In that regard, Shuri became the new Black Panther after she created a synthetic Heart-Shaped Herb. However, instead of wearing her brother’s predominantly black suit, she decided to go with the black and gold suit instead. So, why did Shuri wear a gold Black Panther suit?
Shuri wore a gold Black Panther suit because it was a symbolic way of showing that she wasn’t like T’Challa but was more like Killmonger at the moment that she chose which suit to wear. After all, she wanted to carry the mantle of the Black Panther for the sake of avenging her mother.
In a way, the gold suit that Shuri wore in Wakanda Forever also showcases that she is a unique individual that has her own personality and legacy as the new Black Panther. It was like she wasn’t the same as her brother but wasn’t exactly like Killmonger as well. That said, let’s look into Shuri’s gold Black Panther suit.
Why Did Shuri Wear A Gold Black Panther Suit?
When Chadwick Boseman passed away a while back, there was a huge hole left in the MCU because his portrayal as King T’Challa was always well-loved and well-received by Marvel fans all over the world. In that regard, there was a need for new central characters to step up in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as the massive hole left by Boseman was probably too big for any single character to fill in.
As such, Shuri became one of the most important characters in the movie. After spending most of her time as a secondary character in the previous MCU films that she appeared in, Shuri was seemingly the focus character in Wakanda Forever because most of the important scenes involved her. There is also the fact that she was the one who fans believed was going to be the next Black Panther.
But the problem was that the Black Panther had gone nearly extinct due to the destruction of all of the Heart-Shaped Herbs in Wakanda. Shuri, who saw the death of her mother at the hands of Namor, was intent on recreating a synthetic version of the Heart-Shaped Herb because Namor was too powerful for any of their warriors to have a chance against. As M’Baku said, Namor was almost as strong as the Hulk. And when Shuri used the herb that turned the Talokan people into how they are, she was finally able to create a synthetic Heart-Shaped Herb.
Of course, because she was the one who wanted to take revenge for the death of Queen Ramonda, Shuri took the Heart-Shaped Herb and gained the strength of the Black Panther. She needed a suit that the Black Panther was always known for, and that was when Shuri chose between two different suits of different colors.
But, for some reason, instead of going for the predominantly black and purple suit that T’Challa was known for, Shuri went for a suit that was black and gold in terms of its color scheme. So, why did Shuri choose the gold-colored Black Panther suit instead?
Going back to the time when Shuri ingested the Heart-Shaped Herb, she was brought to the Ancestral Plane, where she was supposed to meet one of their ancestors and then inherit the Black Panther mantle from them. However, instead of meeting either Ramonda or T’Challa, she met Killmonger in the Ancestral Plane, as Shuri was just as confused as the audience.
Killmonger claimed that Shuri was the one who summoned him there because they were similar to one another. Back in the first Black Panther film, Killmonger wanted to be the king of Wakanda to take revenge on T’Chaka for killing his father. As such, vengeance fueled Killmonger’s time as the king of Wakanda and as the Black Panther.
Of course, there’s the fact that Shuri wanted to be the Black Panther to take revenge on Namor for the death of her mother. She admitted to M’Baku that peace was no longer an option between Wakanda and Talokan because of Queen Ramonda’s death. As such, it was clear that she was out for blood.
Back in the first film, Killmonger wore the black and gold suit that T’Challa didn’t like because it seemed a bit too excessive for his tastes. Of course, the fact that Shuri wore a suit with a similar color scheme but had a different design is suggestive of the possibility that she was more like Killmonger than T’Challa. She admitted this when she told Killmonger in the Ancestral Plane that she was not her brother.
As such, this gold suit was probably her way of acknowledging that she was going to choose the path that Killmonger took when he became the Black Panther. It was Shuri’s way of saying that she was the new Black Panther but was not going to be similar to her brother, who Killmonger believed was too noble. Shuri wanted to show that she was an entirely different version of the protector of Wakanda.
What Does The Gold Suit Represent?
Back in the first Black Panther film, the different suits that T’Challa and Killmonger wore represented a difference in their ideals. Michael B. Jordan, who plays Killmonger, said that it was a way of saying that he and T’Challa were on different sides and were eventually going to clash.
Of course, Shuri doesn’t have anyone to clash with in this film other than herself. In that regard, the fact that she chose a suit that was more similar to Killmonger’s own golden suit represents a clash in her inner ideals. She knew that she wanted to be the protector of Wakanda because her country needed protection from the threat of Namor and Talokan. However, this ideal clashed with the fact that she wanted to take revenge for the death of her mother.
As a result, the suit didn’t have the same kind of gold accents that Killmonger’s suit had but was still different from the one that T’Challa wore during his time as the Black Panther. In that regard, the suit represents Shuri, who was still in the middle of a troublesome part of her life because she needed to understand who she really was and what kind of a Black Panther she was going to be.
So, right when she was about to kill Namor, she realized that she didn’t need to do so. This represents the side that is still similar to T’Challa. But instead of simply letting Namor go, she forced him to yield to her demands, as this was her way of letting bygones be bygones. In a way, Shuri showed exactly who she was by showing that she was neither her brother nor Killmonger. As such, this explains why her suit may look similar to Killmonger’s but also reminds us of T’Challa’s own suit.